Therapy Foundations is a service that provides occupational therapy and educational support for children. We work to enable children to become more confident and successful with skills they need to help them play better, perform better at home and at school and to communicate and develop social skills. We look at children’s motor skills, sensory development, thinking and reasoning skills, self regulation and social skills.
The primary aim is to identify, where possible, the causes of the child’s difficulty. In establishing the foundations of a child’s difficulties, we help parents and other professionals understand the needs of the child and to intervene with an appropriate programme that will relate directly to the area in which the child is having problems. An evidence based approach to assessment and treatment is used to ensure that positive change is occurring. On going communication with parents (who are always present during assessment) and teachers is always welcomed and encouraged.
The child-focused approach begins with an initial pre assessment questionnaire and prior to assessment full discussion takes place with the therapist (and if requested the teacher) to ensure parents concerns and issues are addressed.
Assessment takes the form of skill based standardised and non standardised assessment, criteria based assessment and clinicial observation assessment. Sensory integration assessment is undertaken by a SIPT Certified practitioner.
The assessment is based on our BUILDING BLOCKS model of practice. The information is then written up for parents to understand better the findings of the assessment and the difficulties highlighted. Information in the form of customised handouts and advice sheets are then given to parents.
We focus on individualised and personalised outcomes and the “what to do” as determined by our assessment findings. After assessment and in subsequent sessions parents are given intervention strategies to progress the child to the next level of attainment.
Our hope is that they will know exactly what to do to make a difference to the quality of their child’s life.
Personal Profile……..Amanda Howard MSc BSc Dip OT SIPT Cert (USA)
My background is in Occupational Therapy having worked in the NHS for 25 years. I worked in a Special School for 10 years, in Mencap’s nursery and early intervention unit for 10 years and in a child development clinic for 5 years.
I have been working independently since 2007, having set up …Therapy Foundations for Education …with my husband who is a retired Primary School Principal.
I have always pursued current evidenced based practice and have continued professional development obtaining a Masters Degree in Advanced Occupational Therapy. I am a SIPT Certified practitioner (Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing) and specialise in assessing and providing solutions for children with sensory processing difficulties. This intervention is neurological and based on sensory motor development and the integration of the senses.
I work independently and focus on interventions for children with a variety of neurological difficulties. I also provide training for parents and professionals.
We are currently engaged by several schools developing initiatives in Sensory Integration. This includes staff training, parental awareness sessions, presenting workshops, individual assessment and implementing therapy programmes which enable teachers to continue with interventions.
I am also an associate lecturer on the BSc. programme for Occupational Therapy in Sensory Integration and I lecture on the Master’s Programme in Autism at Queen’s University Belfast. I am trained in the Listening Programme and Auditory Processing and extend this service to schools in staff training. I am also a registered provider of the Listening Programme.
Therapy Foundations has grown to become a multi-disciplinary team. We have 3 fully qualified OTs, an OT assistant, an experienced teacher and a practice manager.
Additional Professional Services
We work closely with parent support organisations and provide training sessions and information events on request.
Many schools and children’s services do not have access to sensory integration or sensory processing advice, assessment or therapy. As an independent occupational therapist and a teacher working together, we offer a specialised service in the training and development of teachers’ skills in the area of neurological and motor learning.
There is a connection between movement and the brain and when children struggle with handwriting, reading and maths skills it is because their bodies and their brains are not working together to physically and perceptually capture the idea or process of what is being taught. They are enable to “see” processes in their heads and depend on fingers to count or pictures for comprehension. The brain-body connection is the foundation for all learning and when children can organise their bodies for jumping, hopping, standing on one leg and remaining seated they are then developmentally ready to learn.
We offer this service in relation to sensory processing difficulties, developmental co-ordination difficulties, sensory modulation and sensory integration dysfunction.
A wide variety of input is available ranging from:
- individual assessment to staff training days
- introduction to sensory integration sessions
- working with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- specialist handwriting skills
- understanding the connection between retained reflexes and academic readiness